Friday, June 12, 2009

Breaking the Rules

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional, just another diabetic, so don't take what I do as's just what I do.

We had a series of thunderstorms this week, and my 90 year old father-in-law lost his power. So he came to spend the night with us. We got up early the next morning, and he was stressed out about getting home...insisting he needed to take one of his medications right at 6:45 am. We took him home right away. This may have been right for that medication, and perhaps a few minutes on either side would really matter.

Since then I've been feeling resentment about the many "rules" that I was told early on applied to my diabetes care. I know the folks who taught me these rules were erring on the side of caution, and telling me what they were legally bound to say. But diabetes puts enough demands on life that I don't need any "extra" ones. Early in my diagnosis, I didn't know how to sort out what was really critical, so tried to follow everything to the letter. Here are the ones I can think of that I have kicked to the curb over the years:
  1. Change your lancet after every use -- umm once in a blue moon
  2. Swab your finger with alcohol before you do a finger stick -- never
  3. Swab your injection site, pump site, CGM site with alcohol prior to injecting (or inserting) -- never, just make sure area is clean
  4. Always refrigerate your insulin -- I used to stress over whether there would be a fridge at hotels, now current bottle stays at room temp and additional supply is in fridge at home
  5. Change your pump site every 2 days -- umm 4 or 5 days usually
  6. Change your CGM site every 3 days -- I lie to my pump -- telling it I have a new sensor when I really don't -- so I can use for each sensor for 6 days. The poor thing has yet to wise up!
  7. Take Lantus at same time every day -- early on I was dogmatic about this, but soon found out that for me the darned stuff didn't last 24 hours anyway
  8. Swab top of insulin bottle with alcohol -- never

How about you? Are you a diabetes renegade?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CGM Truth or Dare??

Last week the curtains were pulled back to reveal a 24X7 movie of my BG control. There was no red carpet rollout for the premier, but it was a big event for me nonetheless. I started on a new Minimed pump and CGM last Thursday.

First, I was giddy with being able to see so much more about what is happening, and just kept looking at the trends in a distant sort of way, as if they were not really connected to me. This week, reality is starting to sink in, and I'm faced with some things that I need to change if I want to improve my control. Like cutting out the late night snacking, and upping my basal rate after I workout. Both of those things are scary to me in their own ways. Even though I may have suspected them before, now the data is smacking me in the face and hard to ignore. No more namby pamby..."I'm not really sure what's happening so I'll just keep doing what I want to." I know this is a good thing, but as with facing any challenge, there is emotion and resistance to overcome.

So I guess it's really more of a game of truth AND dare now, isn't it?